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See also: spécial



From Middle English, from Old French especial (whence also French spécial), from Latin specialis (from species, speciei). Used in English since the 13th century.



special ‎(comparative more special, superlative most special)

  1. Distinguished by a unique or unusual quality.
    a special episode of a television series
  2. Of particular interest or value; certain; dear; beloved; favored.
    Everyone is special to someone.
  3. (euphemistic) Retarded; mentally handicapped
    He goes to a special school.
  4. Constituting or relating to a species.
    The seven dark spots is a special property unique to Coccinella septempunctata.
  5. Chief in excellence.
    • Shakespeare
      The king hath drawn / The special head of all the land together.

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special ‎(plural specials)

  1. A reduction in consumer cost (usually for a limited time) for items or services rendered.
    We're running a special on turkey for Thanksgiving.
  2. (broadcasting) Unusual or exceptional episode of a series
  3. (Britain, colloquial) A special constable.
  4. Anything that is not according to normal practice, plan, or schedule, as an unscheduled run of transportation that is normally scheduled.
    Thousands came to see the special that carried the President's coffin.
  5. (video games) special move
    • 1995, "Tony Pordon", Tekken Review [PSX] (on newsgroup rec.games.video.misc)
      Using the right moves, you can sometimes chain 2 specials in a row to form multiple hit combos.



special ‎(third-person singular simple present specials, present participle specialing or specialling, simple past and past participle specialed or specialled)

  1. (nursing) To supervise a patient one-on-one.



Middle French[edit]


special m (feminine singular speciale, masculine plural speciaulx, feminine plural speciales)

  1. special; extraordinary; beyond what is usual